Party System Definition: The Parliamentary Elections of 1998
Political parties began to play a greater role in Ukrainian politics at the time of the 1998 parliamentary elections. The introduction of a new semi-proportional electoral law helped shape the party system and had the notable effect of leading to a consolidation of the centrist ‘camp’ in the ideological spectrum. Because the law required voters to state their party preference explicitly, it also brought parties’ support bases into clearer relief. The results gave evidence that the overall patterns of voting established in previous electoral contests were indicative of enduring cleavages in the Ukrainian electorate. The now-familiar divisions based on ethnicity and region were again evident, and the overall left-right division in the new parliament was roughly similar to that in the old. At the same time, the rise to prominence of a new socio-economic cleavage represents an important development in patterns of political identification.
KeywordsCommunist Party Party System Church Member Vote Choice Party Affiliation
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